How long did it take you...

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Chris Paciello, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. First important area of advice.

    Don't start this game with high expectations. Ideally? Start with the expectation to break even. It's a much more possible (and definately much easier) way to set a goal and obtain that goal. Expecting 500 a week right off the bat, your already putting high expectations yourself.

    I'd say to expect to lose, but then you'd just be too easy on yourself for losses, so try to breakeven at first, learn to accept losses and read Mark Douglas - Trading in the Zone.

    Trade 100 shares and set a goal with trading 100 shares, once you hit that goal, go up to 200 shares and then keep going from there.

    Starting off at 500 - 1000 shares might sound like fun, and an easy way of making a lot of money, but it will more often than not be a quicker way of losing money and not learning all you can with your start-up capital.

    Save up $1,000 to $2,000 and join a prop firm when you are serious, I know several firms that will allow you to trade with $1,000 with 10 to 1, 20 to 1, even 100 to 1, but you want reduced leverage so you can learn and then work your way up.

    500 a week goal right of the bat, is a nice way to failure. Why not $50 a week. You make $10 a day, and then you see that you've done better than you thought and earned $100 that week, so you adjust your goal to compensate for what you earned and slowly move up.

    Making $100 on 100 shares a pop is going to be quite a challenge.
    #11     Jul 20, 2006
  2. hunter111


    Paper traded off and on for a year defining, refining, learning a system- not a perfect one, but one that yields positive results. Then started real money last September- over time I find that I make fewer, more disciplined trades, meaning that they meet my trading criteria 100% or I don't trade. That's the great thing of the market- you never HAVE to trade and forcing trades is a nice way to lose. I was profitable from month 1 of real trading. I'm not trading for a living... yet. That will come with time as I step up my positions over time.

    Short answer: 1 year of paper trading.
    #12     Jul 20, 2006
  3. What's a good paper trading program?

    Thank you.
    #13     Jul 20, 2006
  4. trade7


    #14     Jul 20, 2006
  5. trade7


    Try Ensign Charts
    #15     Jul 20, 2006
  6. I almost wish there was a step by step process I can do to learn how to become a trader. I have been taking in so much information from reading here and there and they are too conflicting. I would like someone to show me the way... From start until I can catch the grasp of it.
    #16     Jul 20, 2006
  7. Best way to find out how long it takes to become profitable at trading...

    Save up $25,000 and...
    Blow out the account.

    That's your tuition to Wall Street.


    Save up another $25,000 and obey stop losses at all times, b/c disobeying them is what blew out your first $25k.


    7 years after you began trading...the light bulb clicks...and you start turning some sizable profits b/c you finally learned to obey stop loss 100% of the time and you cherry pick your trades according to a PLAN, and you stick with that PLAN because it works for you consistently.


    so that's how it worked for me...LOL!

    Hope this helps,

    #17     Mar 21, 2007
  8. MarkBrown


    i think the more times you can blow up the more you learn. i'm a freakin genius!

    :D Mark Brown
    #18     Mar 21, 2007
  9. Bullet


    I think it took me about 6 months to become consistently profitable. Though many people do, blowing your account is not a pre-req to "making it" as a trader. I started trading with around 25-40 grand about 7-8 years ago. I think my total drawdown was 10K or so....and knock on wood...I have not had a negative month since about my 6th month.

    If you want to learn to trade you need to realize a few things.
    1) There is no magic formula.
    2) There is no know-all (and tell all) guru.
    3) No one will give you their strategy (assuming it still works) that they shed countless hours, tears, and dollars developing.
    4) Be willing to lose some money, all the paper trading programs in the world won't prepare you for the emotions involved in trading. Trading is a piece of cake, controlling your emotions is hard as hell.

    Good Luck and always think positively!

    #19     Mar 21, 2007
  10. Controlling your emotions is actually the easy part if you have the right experience. You just have to go through a few good downturns in life to know about emotion control.

    As for myself, I have experienced quite a few downturns. These downturns included the death of a good friend, the death of a few family members, getting fired from a few jobs, missing some great opportunities, 9/11, the recession of 2001, my mother/father's divorce, having an important gf leave you (a few times over) etc.

    Once you have experienced a really strong downturn in life then the emotional part can be removed.

    I feel right now that any downturn cant be any worse then what I have experienced in the past except for maybe getting cancer or having a severe stroke/heart attack. I feel like I have nothing to lose by trading except for time and money.

    If all else fails, I will just move to southern california, get a job selling cars and surf. It wont be all that bad. ;)
    #20     Mar 21, 2007